Barry Chambers, 15 September 2001
Brigade clinched their first league title since 1983 with a 75 run victory over Donemana in the play-off at Eglinton. This game was packed full of incident and fortunes fluctuated throughout, with three players ending up in Altnagelvin Hospital.
Brigade won the toss and struggled throughout to score against a lively Donemana attack and the slow outfield. John Browne struck 2 fours before he was well caught by William Porterfield at point for 8 off Gary Neely. Wajahatullah Wasti also struck two fours before he pulled a short ball from James McBrine straight to Neely at mid wicket and went for 9. Alan Rutherford made 12 before he was clean bowled by Jordan McGonigle's quicker ball. Gordon Cooke joined brother David at the crease and they took the score to 61 before he was adjudged caught by Azhar Shaffique off James McBrine, much to his obvious displeasure. Jason Brown looked terribly out of sorts and eventually fell to a juggled catch by Dwayne McGarrigle for 2.
David Cooke made 39 which included 6 fours before he was run out attempting a second run, although he too wasn't enamoured with the decision. Nicky Cooke faced 20 balls for 1 run before in frustration he spooned a catch to Junior McBrine off Johnny Thompson. Graeme Moore was clean bowled first ball by Junior McBrine to leave Brigade on 86-8. They were rescued by Ivan Nicholl and Mark Simpson who decided attack was the best form of defence and they added 55 runs for the 9th wicket. Simpson made 27 which had 2 fours and a six before he was caught by Porterfield at point off Johnny Thompson. Ivan Nicholl made an unbeaten 32 off 31 balls and it included 3 fours and 1 six. Brigade finished on 155 for 9 in their 45 overs.
Jordan McGonigle had to leave the field with breathing difficulties and was taken to hospital where he was detained for further tests. David Cooke suffered a broken bone in his hand in the changing room and he too spent the afternoon in casualty.
Donemana got off to a steady start but they lost William Porterfield with an eye injury when he was struck by a short ball from Mark Simpson. Johnny Thompson came in and struck 19 before he lobbed a catch to Nicky Cooke at mid on off Gordon Cooke. John Brown then dropped Azhar Shaffique and Andrew Riddles in quick succession, and at 48-1 it looked as this could have been vital. However the introduction of Graeme Moore and Wasti into the attack saw a dramatic collapse as 6 wickets fell for 6 runs. Shaffique went caught behind by Alan Rutherford for 18 off Graeme Moore and the returning Porterfield was brilliantly caught at slip by John Browne for 2 off Wasti. Andrew Riddles was then lbw off Moore for 7 and Donemana were struggling at 54-4. Junior McBrine was then bowled by Wasti for 2 and brothers James and Roy went for ducks to Moore to leave Donemana down and out at 54-7 which in effect meant 8 out with McGonigle in hospital. Dwayne McGarrigle went lbw to Wasti for 4 , and despite 11 from Richard Dougherty Donemana were all out for 80. Graeme Moore took 5-29 and Wajahatullah Wasti 3-8.
Brigade then added the Senior One title to the Ulster Cup, while Donemana captured the Senior and Faughan Valley Cups. Already the rumours about who will play where next season are starting while the Executive will be meeting to decide what format the league will take. It was a season full of dramatic finishes with Donemana pulling off some amazing wins. However they will look back on defeats by Bready and Strabane at home and realize what might have been. Brigade have a formidable look about them and this year the sense of team spirit which had been lacking in previous seasons reemerged. They have great depth to both their batting and especially their bowling and will once again be the team to beat next year.
Senior 1 Playoff
Brigade v Donemana
15 September 2001 at Eglinton
Brigade won by 75 runs
John Browne c W Porterfield b G Neely 8
D Cooke run out 39
W Wasti c G Neely b J McBrine 9
A Rutherford b J McGonigle 12
G Cooke c A Shaffique b J McBrine 5
Jason Brown c McGarrigle b J Thompson 2
N Cooke c A McBrine b J Thompson 1
G Moore b A McBrine 0
I Nicholl not out 32
M Simpson c Porterfield b J Thompson 27
C Curley not out 1
Total (9 wkts, 45 overs) 155
Fall 1-10 2-30 3-45 4-61 5-72
6-85 7-85 8-86 9-141
A Shaffique 6-3-17-0
G Neely 7-1-37-1
J McGonigle 6-1-18-1
J McBrine 9-2-19-2
A McBrine 9-2-18-1
J Thompson 8-1-37-3
A Shaffique c A Rutherford b G Cooke 18
W Porterfield c John Browne b Wasti 2
J Thompson c N Cooke b G Moore 19
A Riddles lbw G Moore 7
A McBrine b W Wasti 2
J McBrine c A Rutherford b G Moore 0
D McGarrigle lbw W Wasti 4
R McBrine b G Moore 0
G Neely not out 4
R Dougherty b G Moore 11
J McGonigle absent injured
Total (22.5 overs) 80
Fall 1-32 2-48 3-52 4-54 5-54
6-54 7-54 8-62 9-80
G Cooke 5-0-22-1
M Simpson 6-0-17-0
G Moore 6.5-0-29-5
W Wasti 5-3- 8-3